The 2012 Hawaii Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X's and O's breakdown, click through to Matt Dollinger's game preview.)
• What's all this, then? The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl is known for being a bowl game played in Hawaii around Christmastime, and for being the only bowl game to incorporate a football dressed up as a pineapple into its logo. But it's not the Pineapple Bowl? The current incarnation of this game isn't related to ye olde Pineapple Bowl, which itself was a a successor of the fantastically-named Poi Bowl.
• Where will this game be played? Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, with the vocal stylings of Carter Blackburn, Kelly Stouffer and Kaylee Hartung. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN. How much better could the ratings be if this game kicked off at 11 p.m. ET, like our beloved late Hawaii contests? Better in our house, to be sure. Nothing quite like falling asleep to the dulcet tones of football being played over the horizon.
• Whom does it feature? Conference USA versus Mountain West.
• What about this year? The 9-3 Fresno State Bulldogs versus the 6-6 SMU Mustangs! ... welcome back, June Jones? Jones may find this an unpleasant return, yes. Remember that time we thought last year's game might not be competitive either and then Southern Miss only won by a touchdown and also there was a fight? No, but for real, Fresno State is quite good and has players to watch on both sides of the ball (see: Rouse, Robbie; Thomas, Phillip; Carr, Derek) and SMU lost to Tulane. TULANE? Tulane.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? It does:
Today, the @smumustangs will get to experience Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial!
— Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (@HawaiiBowl) December 21, 2012
Did we really need an exclamation point there? Yeesh, maybe not.
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? By the time you read this, both teams will already have experienced something called the “Outback Steakhouse Barefoot Pep Rally,” which we have yet to be convinced is not a hard-fought contest to determine which team’s players are brave enough to walk through an Outback Steakhouse with no shoes on.
• What shiny baubles will be showered on the players? Among other loot: Hawaiian shirts! • What's the pick? Stewart Mandel agrees that this one looks ugly from the outset. 52-21 Fresno State.